POTS Treatment Center Week 1

So far the Treatment Center has been very informative and helpful. The basis of the treatment program is learning to retrain the way your Autonomic Nervous system works and responds to stressors. In the normal person your body is mostly in parasympathetic mode or "rest and digest" mode. When a traumatic event takes place your sympathetic nervous system is activated and you respond by either fight or flight .In POTS patients, we are always in fight or flight mode because our Autonomic nervous system no longer functions appropriately and sees everyday life as a stressor. Imagine getting in a car accident , you get that rush of anxiety, your heart races , you get short of breath, and you may even feel the urge to get sick. This is the reaction my body has to standing up . When lying down I am in rest or digest mode but the act of being vertical triggers fight or flight. The treatment program helps teach symptom management by teaching ways to recognize when your body enters this mode and how to "calm down " your autonomic nervous system. The goal is to eventually spend most of your time in parasympathetic mode and train your nervous system to act appropriately.

The program consists of a three hour session each day that primarily focuses on using biofeedback to allow you to physically see the way your body is reacting ,making you more aware of the things that need work. So far I have used three methods of biofeedback that have already started to help. 

1.EMG : electrodes are placed on both shoulders to read the level of Muscle tension . By seeing  the level of tension on the computer screen it increases awareness of tension and allows you to relax even more. 

2.Heart Rate Variablility: the goal of this training is to get the heart rate and breathing rate to be in total coherence (at the same speed)

3.Thermoregulation: a sensor placed in the index finger takes the temperature which is pretty low in people with autonomic dysfunction . The goal is is to keep the peripheral temp (hands and feet) above 90 degrees which means that blood flow is regulated and not all pooling to the head (this is what causes flushing of the face)

So far I have been able to increase my peripheral temperature to 95 degrees and have mastered level one of heart rate variability training. All of my training has taken place in a overstuffed comfy recliner with my feet up . If I am able to maintain this progress I will be able to start training next week while sitting with my feet on the ground and then standing. Sounds simple , but it's a big deal :) Today I was able to walk for about 6 or 7 minutes and the highest my heart rate went was 124, a huge improvement already . 

This beautiful park  ( Harry Moss Park ) full of fall leaves is right down the street from the POTS Treatment Center so we stopped to hang out and of course have a little photo shoot ;) The weather was so nice today, in the low 70's . We've been gearing up for the ice storm thats heading for Dallas, but so far it hasn't happened yet .


  1. Glad you are learning so much and seem to being having an enjoyable time! I think maybe we should all have to learn in a comfy recliner :) Good luck with the walking and looking forward to your next update!

    1. Seriously, the recliner is the hugest thing I've ever seen lol

  2. I am so so so happy it's going so well so far!! My day is made:)

  3. So proud of your achievements already! I'm glad it's been helpful. You are one strong lady :-)

    You really inspire me and I appreciate you sharing your experiences. Good luck with the next stage.


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